Do I need special blue light blocking glasses for my computer or phone?
I get asked this question almost daily, and the short answer is no! I get asked this question almost daily, and the short answer is no!
Much to do has been made in the last couple of years about the damaging effects of blue light from our computers and phones on our eyes. This worry has come from research at Toledo University that was published in Scientific Reports. This research examined a naturally occurring chemical found in the human eye called retinal. The research found that when retinal is exposed to blue light, it is more toxic to other cells.
There are several problems with jumping to the conclusion that blue light will damage our eyes. First, in the living retina, there are proteins that protect against the toxic effects of retinal. Second, the research was done on cells that were not derived from the retina. Third, the cells were not exposed to the blue light the same way they are in our eye.
In fact, we need blue light to help regulate our circadian rhythm. We need blue light to feel alert and awake during the day. If we block blue light, we may feel sluggish and sleepy.
We get most of our blue light from the sunlight. Some research is suggesting that this may, in fact, be beneficial in the growth and development of children’s eyes and may decrease the risk of developing myopia.
Blue light is high energy light (380nm-500nm) so it scatters more. This does make it more difficult for us to focus and so can lead to more eyestrain.
We often use lens coatings that block 20 percent of the blue light to help decrease this eyestrain.
We recommend using special blue blocking lenses if you have glasses that you use just for computer work, or if you have glasses that you wear JUST in the evening before bed.